Saturday, November 1, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Director: Doug Liman
Writers:  Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Hiroshi Sakurazaka (Manga)
Cast:       Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Against his wishes, a military officer (Tom Cruise) is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When the officer is enabled with the same power accidentally, he teams up with Special Forces warrior (Emily Blunt) to try and end the war. 

The original title for the film was 'All You Need is Kill' like the Japanese manga it is based on but they changed it to the drab title that it got released with because of the fear around the word kill. For its home media release they have used the title 'Live. Die. Repeat' which was the original tagline. It is Groundhog day meets shoot them up video games. Every time Tom Cruise's character dies he goes back to the level he started, figuring out how to make some more progress on the next try. Even though the central idea of it might not seem all that original, it is an enormously entertaining intelligent action flick. Action films these days are either sequels, prequels, reboots etc, and it was very refreshing to see a standalone action flick that will stand the test of time. Film is also very humorous with the Tom Cruise character's reluctance to go into the battle setting the tone.Emily Blunt's character is as important as Cruise one which makes for a refreshing change. The script is also good and it was in good hands with Christopher McQuarrie (Usual Suspects) among the writing team. The repetition in story part wouldn't have been this entertaining without it and editing should also be commended because it never loses steam or its audience. 

Tom Cruise films these days perform better outside Americas than inside. The trailer would have made it seem just like another typical Cruise action flick when it is anything but. The fact that Oblivion came just before this film didn't help because the trailers made them seem too similar. Despite great critical reception it collected only $100 million in US on a budget of 178 million. It went on to gross $370 million in total with the overseas markets helping it break even. It is a crying shame that a film like this only made that much when Michael Bay shit-fests generate huge profits, leaving us in this vicious cycle of studios pushing for safer franchise films. 

Doug Liman started off his career with indie classics like 'Swingers' and 'Go' after which he made 'Bourne Identity', his first major studio film. Then he kind of lost his way with shits like 'Mr and Mrs. Smith'. It seems he is now back in form with films like 'Fair Game' and now 'Edge of Tomorrow'. Christopher McQuarrie is now a frequent collaborator with Tom Cruise these days with him being involved in films like 'Valkyrie', 'Jack Reacher' and he is set to direct the next 'Mission Impossible' film. Tom Cruise is having a bit of revival since Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol, but his next three films are supposed to be MI5, Top Gun 2 and Jack Reacher 2 which is a shame. 

Rating: 4.5/5